A PHOTOGRAPHER who aims to challenge stereotypes of autism has been awarded for her work.

Elanor Marielle, a recent graduate from Middlesex University in Hendon, received a prestigious ‘Wooden Pencil’ award as part of the D&AD New Blood competition, which recognises the best in creative design and advertising.

The 23-year-old received the accolade for her photos of her autistic twin brothers Conal and Xander, as well as her mother, who acts as a carer.

She said: “Caring for people with autism is rewarding and incredibly difficult. Witnessing such innocence is both beautiful and terrifying; these people who often have no voice are some of the most vulnerable people in society.

“This set acts as a photographic language, visually expressing what many living with autism cannot express verbally. The images attempt to show the quiet gentleness of one of society's most misunderstood minorities, and the effect it can have on their carers.”

The images have also been featured in the British Journal of Photography, and exhibited at the Truman Brewery Gallery in June 2015.

Jane Harris, director of external affairs and social change at the National Autistic Society (NAS), said: “At the NAS, we know that art and culture play a central role in increasing public understanding about autism, so we’re delighted to see wonderful, thoughtful work by people like Elanor receiving the attention it deserves.

“Artistic representations of autism, particularly when they’re inspired by personal experience, can help challenge myths and change lives by increasing understanding.

“Autism is a lifelong developmental condition that affects how people perceive and interact with the world around them, but with the right support, autistic people like Elanor’s brothers can live full lives.”